by eugene mckee nick mills tyler richter blake burch wyatt smith richard nauert l.
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Region K water planning. By Eugene McKee, Nick Mills, Tyler Richter, Blake Burch, Wyatt Smith , & Richard Nauert. The Basics. The counties of Region K include Mills, San Saba, Llano, Burnett, Blanco, Hays, Travis, Gillespie, Bastrop, Fayette, Colorado, Wharton, and Matagorda.

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by eugene mckee nick mills tyler richter blake burch wyatt smith richard nauert

Region K water planning

By

Eugene McKee, Nick Mills, Tyler Richter, Blake Burch, Wyatt Smith, & Richard Nauert

the basics
The Basics
  • The counties of Region K include Mills, San Saba, Llano, Burnett, Blanco, Hays, Travis, Gillespie, Bastrop, Fayette, Colorado, Wharton, and Matagorda.
  • Major water supplies are the Colorado River, which flows through the middle of Region K, and the Trinity, Edwards, Gulf Coast, & Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifers.
water overview
WATER OVERVIEW

The table to the left shows information about water use as of 2000, and projected water needs for 2060

slide4

A visual for the previous slide shows that with increased water conservation and efficiency, demand for water doesn’t have to rise as fast as population.

2005 regional water plan review
2005 Regional Water Plan Review
  • Population is projected to more than double between 2000 and 2060
  • Water use is projected to increase by 30%
  • Total capital cost of proposed water supply measures: $256 million
  • Two minor reservoirs proposed: Goldthwaite Channel Dam and Off-channel Reservoir
  • A major diversion project of 150,000 acre-feet/year and four "ring dike" reservoirs proposed to meet needs in Region L (San Antonio)
  • Transfer of 25,000 acre feet of water out of basin to Williamson County annually

- From Texas Water matters

slide7

The mindset

As far as Texas goes, Region K is reasonably well to do water wise. Having immediate access to the Colorado River and Trinity, Edwards, Gulf Coast, & Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifers protects most residents of region K from experiencing first hand, the consequences of severe water shortage. That said, the average resident of region K has a more liberal mindset about water use compared with people in drier parts of the state. While cities in region K do have water conservation programs such as watering plans, and many people who realize the impending danger of water shortage, the overall mindset for most, is that for the immediate future there will be enough water for their long showers, car washes, and green lawns. It is hard for many region K residents to take water shortage too seriously because of the close proximity of the Colorado river and its seemingly vast reservoirs.

what people do with the water
What people do with the water
  • Because Region K runs along the banks of the Colorado river, and encompasses many of its lakes and reservoirs, recreation on the water is common. Lake Buchanan, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin, just to name a few, all have significant boat traffic, and fishing isn’t uncommon at least in the first two. In addition to recreation on the water, commodities like Swimming pools, hot tubs, and water features aren’t terribly uncommon, simply because the water is usually available. People aren’t all that conservative with their domestic uses of water, because the price is generally cheap, and people interpret that to mean that there is enough to go around.
slide10
Rice

The lower Colorado River basin is home to a variety of economic activity, ranging from the high tech industry in the greater Austin area, to the agriculture on down the river. The largest use of water in the lower Colorado is the rice farming in south Texas, which is a major economic endeavor. The rice is a particularly thirsty crop because to grow rice, you must flood fields, so that the rice is actually growing in water. It is interesting that the largest single water user in region K is able to acquire its water at literally the price it takes to harness it, due to current water use policies regarding agriculture.

other economic endeavors
Other economic endeavors

Besides agriculture, there are the previously mentioned high tech and computer industry, The business of generating hydroelectricity, and an industry centered around petrochemicals, and manufacturing of equipment for the petroleum business. The use of dams for generating hydroelectricity is the most obviously and directly dependant on water, however manufacturing also requires a fair amount.

Something else of economic relevance is the price of water in region K. From an economist standpoint, Cheap water bills leave more money in the pocket of the consumer, but they certainly don’t promote conservation.

consequences of falling water
Consequences of falling water

Even if we can stretch water to meet our needs, there are still ecological concerns. If water demand increases and water levels go down it effects aquatic communities who’s species need a certain level of water to spawn and to thrive. Many of these species are important to us for food sources, water detoxification, or because of their status as a indicator species. An example would be the Barton Springs Salamander, who could become more threatened if levels of the Edwards aquifer become too low due to over withdrawal.

the issue at matagorda
The issue at Matagorda
  • The Matagorda bay estuary is at risk because the fresh water from the Colorado river is its only source of fresh water inflow, and if the flow decreases or ceases, the region’s wildlife and coastal economy will be devastated
sources cited
Sources cited
  • http://www.texaswatermatters.org/region_k.htm
  • http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/wrpi/rwp/k.htm

http://www.lcra.org/

  • http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/